Juventus vs. Atalanta  3 - 1

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Serie A wrap: Juventus complete unbeaten season

14 May 2012 13:23

Juventus have ended their title-winning season unbeaten after a 3-1 victory over Atalanta including a goal from Alessandro Del Piero.

The outgoing 37-year-old, who has played over 500 games for Juventus, scored his side's second goal as they won their 23rd game of the season.

Juventus needed to avoid a loss to Atalanta to complete their season undefeated and Luca Marrone put them on their way with a goal in the 10th minute.

Del Piero doubled the home side's lead with a curled shot from outside the penalty area in the 28th minute, which sparked huge celebrations among the Juventus supporters.

An own goal from Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner in the 83rd minute gave Atalanta a chance of snatching a draw but Andrea Barzagli's 90th-minute penalty wrapped up the home side's win.

Juventus finished the season with 23 wins and 15 draws from 38 matches to win the Serie A undefeated.

AC Milan came from behind to win 2-1 against Novara.

Santiago Garcia put the visitors in front in the 20th minute and Novara held on to remain 1-0 ahead at the break.

But Mathieu Flamini's 56th-minute equaliser and a winner in the 82nd minute from Filippo Inzaghi ensured Milan's victory.

At the other end of the table, Lecce were relegated to Serie B after a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Chievo, while Genoa secured top-flight survival with a 2-0 win over Palermo.

Luis Enrique marked his last game in charge of Roma in style after the outgoing coach led his side to a 3-2 victory over relegated Cesena.

After Simone Del Nero gave Cesena a shock lead, goals from Bojan Krkic, Erik Lamela and Daniele De Rossi put Roma 3-1 ahead before Mario Santana nabbed a consolation for the hosts.

Udinese secured the final Champions League spot thanks to a 2-0 win against Catania at the Angelo Massimino Stadium.

Antonio Di Natale and Diego Fabbrini were the goalscorers for the victors.

The result ended Lazio's hopes of securing a place in Europe's premier club competition, despite Edy Reja's side defeating Inter Milan 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico.

Diego Milito opened the scoring for Inter from the penalty spot, but Lazio staged a comeback with Libor Kozak, Antonio Candreva and Stefano Mauri netting after the break to help Reja's men to the three points.

Elsewhere, Napoli held on for a 2-1 win over Siena, Parma recorded their highest league position since 2004 after a 1-0 defeat of Bologna and Fiorentina played out a scoreless draw with Cagliari.

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Colantuono focused on Atalanta goals

13 May 2012 05:49

Atalanta coach Stefano Colantuono has insisted that ending Juventus' unbeaten run is not his main priority when the two sides clash in the Serie A.

Newly crowned champions Juventus could go the entire league season unbeaten by avoiding defeat on Sunday, but Atalanta have also enjoyed a successful return to the Italian top flight, with Colantuono's team set to finish comfortably in mid-table.

Colantuono is expecting an intense encounter amid the celebratory mood in Turin.

"Let's just play the game, we know it will not be a walk in the park," Colantuono told reporters.

"It will be a celebration, yes, but Juventus still have the Coppa Italia final, and therefore (Juve coach Antonio) Conte will keep everyone grounded.

"For them it will be a first test before their match with Napoli."

Colantuono then turned his attentions to opposite number Conte, who he was full of praise for after leading the Turin side to their first official Serie A title in nine years.

"Conte has a lot to offer. In addition to having technical qualities, he has the right attitude," he said.

"A great team cannot win only because of the quality of the individuals, but also with the hunger from their coach.

"He's won the league title. He's a friend of mine and a coach that I admire.

"We both started from scratch [in coaching], and Conte has been given the honour of joining a great club. Thanks to his work came the Scudetto."

Article

Conte targets unbeaten season

13 May 2012 01:17

Juventus coach Antonio Conte says his main objective this weekend is to make sure his team goes through the season undefeated.

The Turin-based side face Atalanta on Sunday in the last match of the Serie A season and Conte believes that ending the season unbeaten will be a record nobody will ever surpass.

Juventus were crowned Serie A champions last weekend with victory over Cagliari and are yet to lose a fixture this term.

"Against Atalanta our objective is to maintain our unbeaten record to the end of the season, as that really would be something extraordinary," Conte said.

"I told the lads that if we were to do that, in future they can only match us, but nobody can ever surpass us."

The coach also revealed that Alessandro Del Piero will start the game in what will be the veteran forward's final league game for the Bianconeri.

"Del Piero was in the starting XI as captain in the first game in this stadium against Notts County, in the first Serie A one here with Parma and will be tomorrow against Atalanta," he said.

"It seemed only right for him and his career, but also everything he has given us this year. He must do well both on Sunday and next week in the Coppa Italia final with Napoli."

Turning his attention to bitter rivals AC Milan, Conte took a swipe at the team and their coach Massimiliano Allegri for not doing their talking on the field this term.

Milan CEO Adriano Galliani is still complaining about Sully Muntari's 'ghost goal' against Juventus at San Siro in February, while at the same time bemoaning the amount of injuries his club suffered this season.

Conte insinuated that he is unsurprised by the bitterness emanating out of San Siro, arguing that Juve's vanquished foes have done far too much talking this season.

"I also remember hearing Allegri say in a press conference that Milan would secure their second 'star' on the jerseys," he said.

"At that moment I thought: 'Damn, they really are convinced they can win the Scudetto'.

"I'd say what happened on the pitch did the talking. We won eight of our last nine games, proving this didn't manage to put us off our stride.

"I always said the best team would win over the course of a season, the most consistent, organised and who played the better football. I think Juventus proved they were superior to Milan in those terms."

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Barzagli keen to keep Juve unbeaten

12 May 2012 17:07

Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli is determined to help his side finish the Serie A season unbeaten.

Juve won the Scudetto last weekend with a 2-0 win over Cagliari, but with a home fixture against Atalanta and the Coppa Italia final against Napoli still to play, the Italy international wants to avoid defeat this term.

"Winning the Scudetto feels great. There are still two weeks until the end of the season, so we must remain focused," he told Juventus Channel.

"Sunday's game will be a chance to celebrate with the fans, and we want to look good and remain unbeaten.

"Few people expected us to win the league, but we wanted to get back to our best and be protagonists from the first day.

"Juve did not deserve a low league finish last year and we have turned it around. Then, during the season we started to believe more and more."

Antonio Conte's men will look to make it a domestic double when they take on Napoli in the Coppa Italia final on May 20, but Barzagli is expecting a tough game.

"In a final anything can happen. When we played Napoli in Naples we had great difficulty, while at home it was a great match and we drew.

"They are a solid team that has played with the same side for two or three years, with virtually the same players, and up front they are really strong. We will definitely have to be careful and prepare for the match well."

Article

Serie A preview: Juve eye perfect season, fourth up for grabs

11 May 2012 14:19

Champions Juventus look to complete their undefeated season in Serie A as four teams vie for the final Champions League spot.

Juventus returned to the summit of Italian football last Sunday with a 2-0 win at Cagliari putting them four points clear of AC Milan, ahead of their last fixture with Atalanta.

But, it is the battle for third place between Udinese, Lazio, Napoli and Inter Milan that is intriguing this weekend.

Udinese are in the box seat with a two-point gap over Lazio and Napoli, and three over Inter, needing only a draw away at Catania on Sunday to take third place and the final spot.

If Udinese draw, a win for Lazio in their clash with Inter would still not be enough to take them through given the league decided to use head-to-head records when sides finish level on points, rather than goal difference.

However, an Udinese loss would bring Napoli and Lazio back into the fold.

Despite being a point behind Lazio, Napoli has a superior head-to-head record with Udinese meaning a win over Siena at home, provided Udinese lose, would ensure their passage to European's top competition.

Complicating the equation further is the fact Inter too has a superior record over Udinese.

Their hopes hinge on defeating Lazio, Udinese losing and Napoli failing to win.

Udinese have had another remarkable season under head coach Francesco Guidolin, accommodating for the loss of key players Gokhan Inler (Napoli) and Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona).

"Nothing is decided, everything is still to be achieved," Guidolin said on the race for third spot.

"We just have to prepare well and be ready in our head, legs and heart. There is still a long road ahead of us."

If Juventus avoid defeat for a 39th consecutive game in the league, against Atalanta, they would become only the second team to win Serie A without losing a match.

Fabio Capello's AC Milan were the last team to achieve the feat in the 1991-92 season while Perugia also went unbeaten in 1978-79 but finished second in a 16-team league.

Antonio Conte's side can also seal the double if they defeat AC Milan in the Coppa Italia final on May 20.

At the other end of the table, the relegation fate of Novara and Cesena has been sealed with Lecce the final side set to go down, barring a combination of results to resign Genoa to the drop, albeit very unlikely.

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +48 84
2 38 +41 80
3 38 +17 64
4 38 +9 62
5 38 +20 61
6 38 +3 58
7 38 +6 56
8 38 +1 56
9 38 -2 51
10 38 -10 49
11 38 -5 48
12 38 -2 46
13 38 -6 46
14 38 +0 44
15 38 -9 43
16 38 -10 43
17 38 -19 42
18 38 -16 36
19 38 -30 32
20 38 -36 22